Foreign trade in surplus again

Both imports and exports rose in January, statistics show.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SITA)

Slovakia’s foreign trade posted a surplus of €152 million in January 2017, which is a drop of €174.2 million compared to January 2016.

Total exports amounted to €5.652 billion in January, up by 11.9 percent year-on-year, while imports mounted by 16.5 percent to €5.501 billion, the Statistics Office informed on March 10.

The foreign trade balance met the expectations of observers and returned to surplus after December’s negative balance, Ľubomír Koršňák, analyst with UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, wrote in a memo.

Though it lagged behind the bank’s original expectations, the analyst perceives it positively.

Read also:Foreign trade recorded negative balance in December Read more 

“The reason is the dynamics of growth in foreign trade revenues, which accelerated significantly on both sides of the balance and thus indicated the strengthening domestic and foreign demand,” Koršňák added.

In monthly terms, exports rose in January by 2.7 percent seasonally adjusted (according to UniCredit Bank’s calculations), while the dynamics of their annual growth rose from 4.7 percent to 11.9 percent, which is the highest annual increase since October 2012.

Moreover, imports also rose significantly, after they increased by 3.9 percent month-on-month in January, according to UniCredit Bank’s calculations. In annual terms, the increase was as high as 16.5 percent, which is the most since mid-2011.

The Statistics Office meanwhile revised the foreign trade surplus in 2016, decreasing it by €59 million, down by 1 percentage point to 4.5 percent of GDP. The twelve-month foreign trade surplus in January dropped to 4.3 percent of GDP, Koršňák wrote.

Regarding the coming months, Koršňák predicts that the foreign trade surpluses will temporarily drop, especially in the second half of the year. This will be the result of the imports of technologies, especially in connection with big investments in the automotive sector.

“Based on our calculations, the positive trade balance this year should drop from last year’s 4.5 percent of GDP to 3.7 percent of GDP on average,” Koršňák added.

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